Minister of interior expropriates land under former Narva tank monument

The location where the Narva tank memorial stood, April 14, 2023.
The location where the Narva tank memorial stood, April 14, 2023. Source: Sergei Stepanov/ERR

The land owned by the City of Narva on Jõesuu tänav, the former site of Narva tank monument, will be expropriated by Minister of the Interior Lauri Läänemets (SDE) for the establishment of an additional surveillance position on the Narva River. The City of Narva will receive €1,940 for the land.

The order issued by the minister of the interior on May 22 gives the city of Narva 30 days following receipt of the decision to voluntarily transfer possession of the property. Within 30 days of the date the order was notified, the Tallinn district court can accept an appeal against the decision.

On December 2 the Ministry of the Interior notified the city administration of its intention to acquire a property in the public interest.

The Narva municipality sent a letter to the Ministry of the Interior on December 15 requesting clarifications and stating that it proposes to exchange the land for seven state-owned properties.

According to the municipal government, Narva is dealing with a decaying housing stock and a shortage of acceptable rental apartments for specialists (teachers, physicians, nurses, engineers and managers) that the city is actively recruiting. Namely, the land in question is included in a detailed plan for new residential development.

The Ministry of the Interior responded on January 13 that it disagrees with the proposal to exchange the properties because the requested properties are under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of the Environment. The Department of the Interior advised the municipality to submit the request directly to the Ministry of the Environment.

The Ministry of the Interior sent the city of Narva an expert evaluation compiled by Kaanon Real Estate Agency on January 23, which concluded that the property is worth €1,940 and that the Ministry of the Interior wants to acquire the property for this price. The ministry asked for a response from the municipality of Narva by February 6 at the latest.

The Ministry of the Interior sent a new request to the Narva City Government on March 6 inquiring whether the Narva City Council had approved the Ministry's property acquisition.

Also, the ministry asked whether the Narva City Council consented to transfer the property to the Ministry of the Interior at the market value specified in the January 23 proposal. The Ministry of the Interior asked the Narva municipality to respond by March 20 at the latest, adding that if no response was received by that date, it would initiate the expropriation procedure.

On March 17, the Narva City Government responded to the Ministry of the Interior's request by stating that the council has not taken a decision on the transfer of the property and that the matter will not be discussed at the next council meeting on March 23.

Subsequently, the Ministry of Interior decided that the property must be expropriated in order to build border infrastructure, because the Narva City Government was unable to take a position on the Ministry of Interior's proposal to acquire the property during the procedure and, according to the most recent notification, the issue was not on the Narva City Council's agenda.

On November 10, 2022, the government agreed in principle to build an unmanned aircraft detection and control capacity at the country's external border.

According to the Ministry of the Interior, the position of the City of Narva's property is optimal for long-distance monitoring of the river's border using current technology. It will be necessary to build a mast on the land for holding technical equipment, including radar.


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Editor: Urmet Kook, Kristina Kersa

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